The Internet has seized upon the mortifying story told by Dara-Lynn Weiss, who put her 7-year-daughter Bea on what people are calling the "Tiger Mother" diet, and then wrote about it in Vogue magazine. Mary Elizabeth Williams writes in Salon, "It was a tale that involved putting Bea — who at 4-foot-4 and 93 pounds was veering toward childhood obesity — on an intense regimen of calorie restriction and public shaming"—for example, not giving her dinner after the child ate 800 calories of "Brie, filet mignon, baguette and chocolate” at school. As a result of a year of this treatment, Bea lost 16 pounds and also grew two inches, a happy story all around, until the years of resentment morph into time spent at an eating disorder clinic. But for now, it's a happy story because Weiss has a book deal on the merit of her oversharing (or anthropological parenthood reporting) in Vogue. "The new book, tentatively and appallingly called The Heavy," writes Williams, "will be published by Random House’s Ballantine imprint." Movie to follow, if all goes well, we assume.
But Weiss is certainly not the first to stand in the "bad mom/book deal" line with her hand out for six figures (we're speculating—at least five). Obviously, the most recent "star" in this genre is Ms. Amy Chua, Tiger Mom, herself. But before that, there was Ayelet Waldman, author of Bad Mother: A Chronicle of Maternal Crimes, Minor Calamities, and Occasional Moments of Grace. Even as we write, there pops up yet another embarrassing all-too-forthright daughter-revealing mom getting our attention: Jennifer Coburn, who writes in amazingly cringeworthy fashion of her struggles with her 14-year-old daughter's breakup. Oh, this does not bode well for future relationships (mom's ability to cope with them, that is)! What it does bode well for, however, is a book deal for Coburn, who, yep, is currently working "on a memoir about her travels with her daughter."